The ‘new potatoes’ are here
Much anticipated spuds are a real taste of summer
New potatoes have been hitting Island grocery stores and roadside stands that are popping up across Prince Edward Island.
Locals and tourists alike savour this taste of Island summer.
Prince Edward Island potato producers, market gardeners and students employ all sorts of methods to meet this demand for early potatoes. The first step is green sprouting the seed to ensure that when it goes in the ground, it is ready to grow.
After planting, many growers cover the potato drills with plastic or floating row cover if they hope to have some crop to market by late June and early July. This helps to warm up the soil and air underneath, protecting the emerging plants from late frosts and encouraging early growth.
Before all this takes place, variety selection is key. Potato varieties vary in maturity, from as early as 60 days to long season varieties that will grow for over 120 days. Common early season varieties on P.E.I. include Irish Cobbler (an old time favourite), Eramosa (a creamy tasting potato), Superior (a standard commercial early) and Jemseg (usually the first one ready). Often these early potatoes are marketed by variety name and many people have their favourite.
Fresh produce is a key part of the reputation P.E.I. has as Canada’s “food island”, and potatoes certainly have a starring role. New potatoes are great on the barbeque, in a salad, or simply boiled with some butter, salt and pepper.
Breakfast Baked P.E.I. Potatoes On behalf of the P.E.I. Potato Board Prep Time & Yield
4 Baked Russet Potatoes 4 Tbsp Butter 4 Fresh Eggs Pre-cooked Bacon Shredded Cheddar Chives Salt & Pepper
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Slice Baked Potatoes lengthwise in half, and hollow out a small bowl into each potato. Place on a baking sheet. Place 1 Tbsp of Butter in each hollow of the potatoes. Crack one Egg in each potato bowl, season with Salt, Pepper and Chives. Sprinkle with Shredded Cheddar, and top with pieces of pre-cooked Bacon. Bake for 17-25 minutes or until eggs are just set. For softer eggs, simply bake for a shorter amount of time.
Once done, serve immediately or let cool and store for a quick ‘heat and eat’ breakfast.
New potatoes are great on the barbecue, in a salad, or simply boiled with some butter, salt and pepper.